The 9mm cartridge is the most popular round in the world.
While modern handguns can use all sorts of different rounds, there’s no denying that the 9mm cartridge still reigns supreme – and it’s easy to see why, given some of the fantastic handguns that use them.
We’ve gathered 10 of the greatest 9mm handguns ever made in this list, so you can see for yourself why the 9mm is still the most commonly used pistol 100 years after its invention!
So let’s get started, shall we?
The 10 Best 9mm Handguns Ever Made
1) Glock 19
The Austrian manufacturer Glock has long been associated with high-quality handguns known for their dependability, accuracy, and ease of use.
The Glock 19 is no exception, and is more than deserving of a place on this list.
The Glock 19 is arguably the most popular handgun Glock has produced, and for good reason.
Compact and lightweight, this handgun doesn’t sacrifice anything in the way of durability and stability.
this is due to its polymer frame that handles recoil surprisingly well despite the Glock 19’s smaller size.
One of the biggest advantages of the Glock 19 is its adaptability.
Capable of using the same magazines as the Glock 17 and 18, and with a wide range of holsters, grips, and other accessories to choose from, the Glock 19 is one of the most versatile handguns on the entire market!
2) Browning Hi-Power
This is a handgun that definitely lives up to its name. Created by the legendary firearm manufacturer John Browning and finished by similarly famous Diedonne Saive in 1935, the Hi-Power is one of the most iconic handguns out there.
Despite being well over 80 years old, the Hi-Power still stands tall as a masterclass of handgun design, and has been the inspiration for countless other models produced to this day.
This is because of how ahead of its time the design was.
as the first double-stack pistol (meaning two columns of rounds are staggered in the magazine), the Hi-Power was revolutionary in terms of its capacity.
Meanwhile, its steel frame is incredibly durable without being too heavy, and helps keep the pistol’s stability as it fires.
Add in a smooth single-fire-only trigger, an ergonomic grip, and an attractive finish, and it’s no surprise that the Browning Hi-Power is still one of the most popular handguns in the world the better part of a century after its release.
3) Beretta 92
There’s a good reason why this pistol is the standard issue for most branches of the US military and police, along with multiple others around the globe.
The Beretta 92 (often designated as the M9) is well-known for its superior handling and reliability.
Despite the extra bulk and weight created by its all-metal design, the Beretta 92 is incredible at soaking up recoil when firing.
Combined with its locking block barrel for improved accuracy and open slide design, this makes the Beretta 92 the pistol of choice for beginners and professionals alike.
Due to its use as a military firearm, the Beretta 92 is incredibly durable and designed to last in all sorts of extreme conditions, from dusty deserts to humid jungles.
Additionally, its DA/SA trigger means that it fires quickly and smoothly without any reduction in accuracy.
While it might be on the heavier side for a 9mm, this pistol more than makes up for it with its quality and flawless functionality.
4) Sig Sauer P226
Barely beaten out by the Beretta 92 as the US military’s preferred handgun, the Sig Sauer P226 still found success as the favored pistol of the Navy SEALS.
It’s also a popular choice for other militaries and special police forces around the world, making it a close second in popularity to the 92.
That’s not where the similarities end, though. Just like the Beretta 92, the Sig P226 also features an all-metal construction, DA/SA trigger, and incredible reliability and durability.
However, it edges out the competition from a tactical perspective; the shorter barrel makes it superior in close-quarters, and firing rounds produces next-to-no recoil.
It’s also incredibly versatile – modern models include a Picatinny rail for fitting accessories, and some even come with a red dot sight as standard.
5) Luger P08
The Luger P08 occupies a particularly special spot on this list, as it was the first gun to ever use 9mm rounds.
Initially developed in the early 1900s by Gerog Luger himself, the Luger P08 quickly became the standard issue pistol for German forces during WW1 and saw continued use in WW2 as well.
While it’s now generally seen as a collector’s piece, the Luger P08 was revolutionary at the time of its creation.
Its recoil-operated design and fixed barrel meant that it fired quickly and accurately, making it as efficient as it is iconic!
6) CZ 75
This handgun from the Czech Republic is famous for combining functionality with aesthetics.
With an all-metal frame, ergonomic grip, and DA/SA trigger, the CZ 75 handles incredibly well and fires smoothly with little recoil.
Another factor in this ease of use is the positioning of the slide rails; placed within the frame, this makes it easier to control while firing quickly.
Despite the slimness of its grip, the magazine holds 16 rounds – which is uncommon for a double-stack pistol (which are normally known for their clunkier design).
While it’s unusual to see a handgun try to balance visual appearances with efficiency, the CZ 75 proves that there’s no reason why a pistol shouldn’t look just as good as it performs.
7) Glock 17
The older brother of the Glock 19, the Glock 17 is effectively just a larger version of the iconic handgun.
While the Heckler & Koch VP70 was the first pistol to use a polymer frame, the Glock 17 – which was released not long afterward – was by far the more successful model.
With all the versatility, handling, and reliability of the Glock 19 but with improved power and control, it’s no surprise that the Glock 17 is the firearm of choice for more than 60% of the US’ law enforcement agencies.
It might not have been the first of its kind, but the Glock 17’s impact is undeniable, and has changed the face of the firearms industry since its introduction.
8) Colt 1911
While this iconic pistol is generally associated with .45 rounds, the 9mm model is just as good a choice as the original.
A more compact model than the classic .45 ACP, the 9mm 1911 is ideal if you’re looking for something for concealed carrying.
In addition to a smaller size, the 1911 is also lightweight and has a reduced recoil, making it perfect for beginners.
You also get an increased capacity of 11 rounds, and the front-weighted barrel makes quick consecutive shots easy with no loss in accuracy.
Aside from those minor differences, the 9mm model gives you all the same benefits as a classic 1911 – incredible accuracy, a comfortable grip, and a single-action-only design for a crisp and smooth trigger.
9) Smith & Wesson M&P Shield
Designed with police and military in mind, the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield does its job and does it well.
The light frame and small size make this pistol ideal for concealed carry while the low recoil and three-dot sights make it one of the most accurate handguns out there.
Despite its small size, the Shield doesn’t slack when it comes to capacity, and can hold a maximum of 8 rounds (plus an additional one in the chamber). It’s also incredibly easy to use and handles beautifully.
10) Heckler & Koch VP70
While it probably won’t win any prizes for aesthetics, the Heckler & Koch VP70 does mark an incredibly important turning point in the development of handguns, and firearms in general.
As the first polymer handgun ever developed (an accolade often awarded to the Glock 17, which was introduced 2 years later), the VP70 revolutionized the ways that pistols were designed and developed in a way that is still influencing the industry to this day!
Despite its (to put it charitably) unique design, the VP70 was also impressive in terms of its functionality.
Its construction, though simple, meant that it was a highly dependable choice that rarely jammed and could handle practically any 9mm rounds you gave it.
Not only that, but the 18-round capacity was a decent leap in magazine size for the time and was yet another revolutionary step for contemporary handguns.
However, there were still some downsides that worked against the VP70.
Because of its double-action-only trigger, pulling the trigger felt stiff and even downright difficult.
Additionally, the deep rifling on the barrel meant that rounds lost velocity and accuracy – an issue not rectified by the striker-fired operation.
With that said, however, it’s hard to understate the significance of the VP70 in modern handgun design, and it still holds up as an impressive piece of kit more than 50 years after its initial release.
So there you have it – 10 of the best 9mm handguns of all time!
All of these handguns have more than earned their place on this list, and are some of the best examples of firearms ever made.
With how influential and effective these handguns are, it’s easy to see why they’re still a popular choice for marksmen and collectors alike to this day!